By Sam Conner
The Lady Bulldogs won the Winslow Winter Classic Tournament with a 53-51 victory over the Tuba City Lady Warriors in an excellent championship game on Saturday.
The Winslow squad had started a busy week of action with a 53-47 win over the Chinle Lady Wildcats on Dec. 16 at home to take a 5-2 record into the tourney on Friday.
The Bulldogs met the Warriors in the final game, both having won relatively easily in their first two games of the tournament. The game was not decided until the final seconds expired. Winslow finished with an 8-2 record and Tuba City fell to 8-3. This could well have been a preview of a state championship game. Both teams had three players on the All-Tournament Team, including Shandiin Armao, Jayce Sangster and Adrianna Singer from Winslow, and Samytha Parrish, Autumn Byjoe and Tate Tsingine from Tuba City.
Tuba City started strong and led 14-10 at the end of the first quarter. The Bulldogs fought back in the second and tied the game at 27-27 at the intermission. After another very close quarter the Bulldogs took a narrow 40-38 lead into the final period. Winslow hung on to win the game 53-51. Armao led all scorers with 29 points for Winslow. Tuba City was led by Tsingine. Winslow had an advantage at the charity stripe, hitting 14 of 26, most by Armao. Tuba City was just six of 10.
The Bulldogs got by the Hopi Lady Bruins 65-34 in the first game last Friday. Winslow led Hopi 20-9 after the first period of play, and had a commanding 37-13 lead at the intermission. The lead was 57-24 going into the final period and with reserves playing most of the second half, the Bulldogs coasted to victory.
Armao led Winslow and all scorers with 14 points while playing little in the second half. Laura Gutierrez led Hopi with 10 points.
In other Friday games, the Westwood Lady Warriors defeated the Greyhills Lady Knights 56-46. The Estrella Foothills Lady Wolves edged the Window Rock Lady Scouts. The Tuba City Lady Warriors downed the Joseph City Lady Wildcats 74-17.
In other second round games on Saturday, Hopi defeated Greyhills 55-48 and Window Rock defeated Joseph City 57-26. Estrella Foothills edged Westwood 36-34 in a defensive struggle to take third place. Window Rock defeated Hopi 55-39. Joseph City edged Greyhills 47-46.
Early on Saturday the Bulldogs hammered Westwood 56-37 to advance to the finals.
Winslow started strong and used a huge second period to build a commanding 34-10 halftime lead. The Bulldogs held a secure, double digit lead the rest of the contest on their way to the 56-37 victory. Armao led all scorers with 17 points for Winslow. Sangster and Singer added 10 each. Aitza Alvarez led Westwood with 10 points.
Tuba City defeated Estrella Foothills 52-31 in the other semifinal game.
Both the Winslow boys’ and girls’ teams will play in the Tournament of Champions, which opens today (Dec. 26) in Ganado.